Humanities Center

Visiting Scholars

Stephanie Sparling Williams, "Black Feminist Critique and Ontological Reconciliation in Artist Lorraine O'Grady's Diptychs"

Thursday, September 23rd, 5:30 PM 

Stephanie Sparling Williams

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Sparling Williams's recent monograph Speaking Out of Turn: Lorraine O'Grady and the Art of Language examines black feminist conceptual artist Lorraine O'Grady's use of language, both written and spoken, and charts her strategic use of direct address-- the dialectic posture O'Grady's art takes in relationship to its viewers. This talk locates O'Grady's spatially attuned and textually oriented visual practice as one that both aligns with several key practices of the 1980s and 90s and breaks away in crucially innovative ways through her use of the diptych form.

Dr. Stephanie Sparling Williams is the Associate Curator at the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, and a Visiting Lecturer in Art History and Africana Studies at Mount Holyoke College. Sparling Williams has organized numerous exhibitions including Proposition, Form, Gesture: Modern & Contemporary Art from the MHCAM Collection (2020); Wayfinding: Contemporary Arts, Critical Dialogues, and the Sidney R. Knafel Map Collection with Allison Kemmerer (2020) at the Addison Gallery of American Art; Harlem: In Situ (2019), also at the Addison; From America to Americas (2018), sponsored by the Tang Institute at Phillips Academy; Color & Device: Contemporary Art in the Addison's Collection (2018), and Gun Country (2018). Sparling Williams is the recent recipient of the inaugural Mary Ann Unger Estate Fellowship (2020); the Association of Art Museum Curator's Mentorship Award (2019); and the Brace Center Faculty Fellowship in Gender Studies at Phillips Academy (2019). Her book on feminist conceptual artist Lorraine O'Grady, Speaking Out of Turn (2021), is the first monograph dedicated to the forty-year oeuvre of the artist. 


Diana Taylor  "Reparative Memory: Trauma, Memory, Accountability, and Repair"

Thursday, October 21 2021, 5:30 PM

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diana taylor headshot

What can we do when it seems that nothing can be done, and doing nothing is not an option? How do communities hardest hit by Covid-19 transform the traumatic memories of loss into practices of repair? This talk will explore some of the theoretical and practical implications of these questions.

Diana Taylor is University Professor and Professor of Performance Studies and Spanish at New York University. She is the award-winning author of multiple books, among them: Theatre of Crisis (1991), Disappearing Acts (1997), The Archive and the Repertoire (2003), Performance (2016), and ¡Presente! The Politics of Presence (2020), and co-editor of Holy Terrors (2003), Stages of Conflict (2008) and Lecturas avanzadas de Performance (2011), among others. Taylor was the Founding Director of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics from 1998 to 2000. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and several other major awards. In 2017, Taylor was President of the Modern Language Association. In 2018 she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Science. In 2021 she was awarded the Edwin Booth Award for “outstanding contribution to the NYC theatre community, and to promote integration of professional and academic theatre.”

Mimi Onuoha, Multi-media artist whose work deals with power dynamics in data collection, Thursday, March 3, 2022, 5:30


Usha Iyer, Assistant Professor of Film and Media Studies, Department of Art and Art History, Stanford, Thursday, April 7, 2022, 5:30 PM

Dr. Iyer is author of Dancing Women: Choreographing Corporeal Histories of Hindi Cinema (Oxford)

Art and Social Change

With the 2020-21 theme, Art and Social Change, the Humanities Center seeks to inspire discussion about the ways that art can help us understand the past, engage with current social concerns, and envision the future. Events will highlight interdisciplinary humanities research and creative activity on the impact of the arts on society, locally and internationally. Focusing on intersectional issues of social justice, including systemic racism, sexism, and economic disparity, we will engage scholars, students, and the community in conversation on how art reflects and provokes social change.

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